The Switches and the Router

We have one router, the ZyXEL USG-50, a midrange SOHO router with a bunch of interfaces, support for dual WANs, support for 3G modems, and a disk or flash disk for storing data.

We have 2 switches. First is an HP 1910, which is an “enterprise” switch but is priced a lot lower than Cisco. It comes from 3Com, which was bought out by HP. So it’s different from HP’s other ProCurve switches. The main difference to the admin is that the 3Com line basically lacks a command line interface. The ProCurve line can be controlled from the console. Don’t be fooled by the 1910’s console port – the port just lets you set the IP address. Also, there’s a captcha on the login page, so you can’t screen-scrape your way in without some OCR magic.

Second is a small Netgear GS108Tv2 smart switch. It’s from the ProSafe line, which is mostly managed switches. This is also managed by web interface. This is being used as a “trainer” device, and because I needed to confirm that vlans exist across switches.

(I didn’t really grasp why most admins use only one brand of hardware until I dealt with this mix of networking gear: it’s confusing. Even when the features are the same, the menus are different. Also, while GUIs are nice, especially for getting a quick overview of the network configuration, command lines are easier in some ways. I can see how learning IOS and using the same OS across devices saves time and effort.)

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